NAGASAKI

I’ve had a little break from writing but I’m back to it this evening with a post about the amazing city of Nagasaki! Nagasaki was the second destination of our trip after Kyoto, and we reached this by using both the JR services and the Shinkansen, a journey of around 4/5 hours. As I’ve said in previous posts, I would highly recommend covering Japan by train, its such a brilliant experience and also allows you to see lots of cool scenery in a small amount of time. Nagasaki was a great destination to visit, and somewhere which I really didn’t know much about before I went. Of course, Nagasaki is most well known for the awful events of the atomic bomb, dropped in 1945, however this city is also a place of such beautiful landscape, rich with history which I wanted to share with you in this post.

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NAGASAKI PEACE PARK


The Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of the city on the 9th August, 1945 during WWII. This park is beautiful and peaceful, as well as devastating and emotional. The memorials, dedications and statues help us to understand the extent of the harm caused by this bomb, and the legacy of peace that is now in the centre of Nagasaki’s culture. Although very upsetting, this park is also the most beautiful place for a day out in Nagasaki, and is probably the number one must see of the city. It’s also wonderful to see the unity of people wanting peace and you can see this below with the colourful dedications to those who died, and a future of world peace.

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OURA CHURCH AND GLOVER GARDEN


The Oura Church is another historical destination, known as the Church of the 26 Japanese Martyrs. As one of the first western style buildings, this has been declared a national treasure and the oldest church in Nagasaki. Now, I am aware that visiting churches isn’t for everyone, but for a peaceful moment in your day and also an incredible view of the city, this is a lovely place to visit. Beside it is the Glover Garden with Glover Residence being the oldest Western style house surviving in Japan. It’s always good to find nature within a city, and this garden again is a peaceful retreat, and you can get the best view of Nagasaki harbour, as you’ll see in my pictures below. The walk up to the Glover garden and Oura church is also so cute and picturesque, it looks like something out of a Disney film! There’s so many little shops that you can explore here from souvenirs to cake.

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Look how cute this little toy shop was!


THE HARBOUR AND CITY CENTRE


Of course Nagaski’s beautiful harbour is unmissable and a great attraction especially if the sun is shining! The city centre also has lots to offer, and it’s easy to get around to main attractions by tram or by foot. Exploring by tram is a great way to get to places quickly whilst also having a great view of the city and immersing yourself in the culture. The locals we met were kind, welcoming and fun in Nagasaki, and made our stay even more pleasant. One of my favourite destinations within the city centre was actually Chinatown, and the former Chinese settlement. Seeing these historical buildings within a bustling city was so exciting and great to see.

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MOUNT INASA


We decided to visit Mount Inasa at night, something that I would highly recommend doing. Mount Inasa rises to a height of 1,093ft and can be reached by the Nagasaki Ropeway. Prices are affordable and well worth what you get included, for example the ropeway includes a tour guide giving lots of fun and useful information about the city below. This is such a fun evening activity, or something for the day if you would prefer, and the views you get are just incredible. It’s not often that you get the opportunity to see such a great city at night, and this is actually labelled Nagasaki’s ’10 Million Dollar Night View’, which is very true. It was such a pleasure to be able to see this beautiful valley city lit up at night.

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So overall an absolutely wonderful stay in Nagasaki! We managed to do this all in two days, so it’s easy to pack things in with the transport links of the city. We stayed in the wonderful and affordable S Peria Hotel, which had a great room and amenities that I was very impressed with. For lovers of history and culture, Nagasaki is the perfect city for you and here you are also given the opportunity to experience a vibrant environment and see great landscapes!


Keep on following the blog for two more posts on Japan on Hiroshima and Tokyo and then see where my next adventure takes me! You can keep up with me on email, or by following on WordPress, or let me know what you think in the comments or by emailing elena@elenaswanderland.com 


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THE RITZ-CARLTON, TOKYO

 

I had the pleasure of exploring The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo which is situated within the city’s tallest building. The reception is found on the 45th floor and from there the stunning hotel rooms offer views across Tokyo, with floor to ceiling windows. Within the hotel can be found seven restaurants, a spa and pool, Club Lounge, and event spaces. Before I share with you all my experience at the hotel, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Maaya Arakawa who offered me this wonderful experience and for her great expertise which helped me write this post!

 

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THE 45TH FLOOR


 

The 45th floor is the main hub of The Ritz-Carlton hotel. Upon arrival you will find yourself in the beautiful reception area with views across Tokyo. A lobby bar and lounge is in the centre with people meeting for business and pleasure, having afternoon tea or some of the cocktails from the bar menu. One of the best things I noticed in this hotel was the high standard of service provided by staff members who were so kind and willing to help with any of your needs.

On the 45th floor you can find a range of restaurants, including La Boutique which showcases contemporary chocolates and pastries, created by French Pastry Chef Jimmy Boulay, Azure 45 a Michelin star restaurant offering exquisite French dining and the Towers restaurant serving wholesome food in a very cool and contemporary setting. However my overall favourite was Hinokizaka which offers Japanese cuisine in four areas for Kaiseki, Teppanyaki, Sushi and Tempura. Pictured below this restaurant offers incredible Japanese food, with meals prepared freshly in front of you, and the rooms are beautifully decorated with traditional Japanese design. You can eat sushi with a view of Tokyo, or eat in the Teppanyaki room where you will choose from a fine meat selection offered by the chef. A private room is also available here with traditional floor seating and a wonderful view of the city. These restaurants are not only for guests but the public too, so are well worth visiting.

 

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The lobby bar is also a fantastic location for a chilled drink after a long day, or a business meeting. As you can see below the Lobby Lounge and Bar serves what must be one of the most expensive cocktails in the world – totally around £13,000! Sadly this was not what I ordered, but the bar here offers a varied range of drinks including a great cocktail selection which is always important – I actually tried a Sakura themed drink! We were lucky to be served by the fabulous Kiver Yong who was a pleasure to meet. He went above and beyond to ensure that all our needs were met, whilst also being super friendly to my family and I. In the bar you can also listen to some live music with a pianist situated above a water feature which is so relaxing to listen to.

 

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THE CLUB LOUNGE – 53RD FLOOR


 

Exclusive to Club Level guests, the 53rd floor offers an array of Club suites and rooms, some of which are considered to be the most luxurious in Asia. When booking, the Ritz-Carlton website provides information of the view you get in each room, which I think is a great feature, whether you would rather see Mount Fuji or the Tokyo Tower is totally up to you. Club guests also have access to extra privileges and the service here is described as the ‘pinnacle of hospitality that will make your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo unforgettable’. One of these privileges is the Club Lounge, in which Club members have seperate check in to other guests, and access to four areas: reception, garden terrace, dining room and library lounge which overlook Mount Fuji and are each designed for a different atmosphere for morning, day and night. I have some pictures below of this area, but definitely click this link to see the incredible suites and rooms on offer.

 

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Just imagine waking up to this view out of your bedroom window! Absolutely incredible, and I was really impressed with what the bedrooms had to offer here at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

 


SPA AND FITNESS CENTER


 

As soon as you step out of the lift and into the spa you are instantly relaxed. The hotel uses their original Crystal Bamboo scent on this floor and it matches both the beautiful setting to which you enter, and also the calm and friendly staff members that are their to meet you. This day spa, fitness center and pool has the most incredible view of Downtown Tokyo, and also offers spa treatments using the renowned Sodashi and ESPA products. A relaxing day at the Spa can be finished with an evening swim with a view of the bustling city, which is hard to find anywhere else! Being the tallest building in Tokyo, a stay at The Ritz-Carlton is an unbelievable experience and the service you receive here would be hard to beat.

 


 

I am so happy that I got to see into this beautiful hotel, with an unbeatable view of Tokyo. Five star hotels are of course always expected to offer a great service, but the Ritz-Carlton really went above and beyond, and showed why it is easily one of the best hotels in the world. Staying here not only offers a great nights sleep, but it has so many special aspects that ensure you will have an unforgettable experience. I would also recommend visiting the Lounge bar or the incredible restaurants on the 45th floor, even if you’re not a guest at the hotel.  Check out the Ritz-Carlton website for more details, and thank you again to the wonderful Maaya Arakawa for allowing me to explore The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

 

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If you enjoyed my post then feel free to like and comment down below! You can contact me at elena@elenaswanderland.com and send me you’re own experiences in Tokyo or the Ritz Carlton. To keep up with my posts follow me on WordPress or email, both are detailed at the bottom of the post and in the sidebar.

 

Eléna x